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Kreis, Tim-The Economic Impact of FIrefighting

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Tue, 12 Nov 2013|

Kreis, Tim-The Economic Impact of FIrefighting

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Hi, my name is Jeff Case, I'm a deputy chief with the Phoenix Fire Department, and one of our shift commanders. My name's Tim Kreis, I'm a captain with the Phoenix Fire Department. What do we measure in the fire service? And how does that measure our effectiveness? We look at response times. We look at dollar loss, but the question we have for you today. Is, does that paint a clear picture of what the American Fire Service is doing? What we're doing in here Phoenix with this economic impact fire fighting program is we've created a validated methodology to measure the value in terms of dollars and cents of fire safes. The genises of this study that Tim introduced to use was a fire we had at the Trent wood manufacturing facility it was actually a very fast aggressive moving fire in a river bottom that butted up against the manufacturing facility. I was the assistant commander Tim was one of the supporting officers there. And as we watched this fire and looked at the progress of this fire we were impressed with the job our guys did. It was one of those things where we truly were impressed how aggressive and, and how well positioned and tactfully this whole fire went out and basically saved Chitwood Manufacturing with very little impact and could have easily lost the entire structure. In discussion after the fire, we said, you know, what is that real impact? You know, people will come back to work tomorrow. People will continue to spend money, or continue to sell, and import and export And we didn't really know 'cuz we never really evaluate that. So with that next morning I asked Tim if he could follow-up on this and find a way that we could kinda research this some more. Got real lucky Tim, then went and kind of pursued that process. After we had the Treadwood incident, we were able to establish a relationship with Arizona State University. And it started off with a bunch of phone calls and I ended up in the right spot and we ended up with a group called the Seedman Institute. And their whole purpose for existence is to measure economic impact of, different things in the community. When we presented what had happened at that incident the night before with this clear business fire save, they were excited to help us out with it. We collected some numbers for them. And they were able to tell us the economic impact of saving Treadwood and, what we, what we learned on that pilot study was staggering. We really didn't anticipate what, the numbers came back as. Just from that one fire, by saving Treadwood, over 213 jobs were saved, $30 million in direct Arizona economic impact. And again, it wasn't the fire department calculating these numbers. It was a scientific process by an agency whose sole purpose is to measure economic impact, and that was pretty powerful. They were excited by it. We were excited by it. They wanted to continue the process, or continue the relationship. We were able to partner with Under Writer Laboratories to fund the study. And we continue, basically to pursue at that point, a process that would give us a one year, look, snapshot look at this true economic impact. According to Arizona State University in one quarter of structural, non residential, fire saves alone, we saved 2300 jobs. In the Arizona economy and $200 million worth of economic losses in just one quarter of structural fire saves. Indiana's fire department is getting credit, but not just with saving lives. Yeah, they're also being credited with saving the economy. ABC15's Angie Holzworth explains. The fire started against this fence and then it spread to a linen that was stored out here, it took out a shop that was over there. When the fire start in the back lot of Hatfield Laundry last summer, a 50 year family business could very easy come to an end. We have to find another location and how long would that take. You know, what would it involve for permits, licenses. Owner Janet Corrigan credits the Phoenix Fire Department's fast response for stopping the fire before it could spread to the main building and the gas line. A huge save that also saved the jobs of ten longtime employees. Everybody is like family. We don't have anybody that hasn't worked here at least 15 years. We're talking about setting a new standard, a new benchmark. For the way we deliver service. It's one of eight business fires that were the focus of an independent ASU study. The study showing the Phoenix Fire Fighter response saves 2100 jobs and a half a billion dollars to the Arizona economy. It is good for jobs. It's good for saving business. It's good for saving commerce. We have great loyal customers. We've had a lot of them for 30 years. For Corrigan and her employees it hits home, knowing how much was at stake and how a few minutes made the difference in whether they would be able to press on. By the time we meet with you we're gonna have a full year of data. We'll be able to share that with you and talk about our process. But I think the important thing is where do we go with this in the future as a fire service. And, and how do we use this information? It's critical to staffing it's critical for our ability to put engines and ladders in the right position to have a impact on fire response. To have appropriate staffing levels, so. The goal is to provide our chiefs, our bosses, those who interact with and set those budgets, the opportunity to use a scientifically valid piece of information that really shows something we never looked at in the past. And that's how we have a direct economic impact on the community, a positive economic impact on the community. So, look forward to, having you in our class and we'll see you soon. Thank you.

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